Ukrainian tennis star Dayana Yastremska recently deleted images from a photoshoot she shared on social media that featured her partially in blackface. On Thursday, she called the photos "misunderstood," but ultimately defended her decision to share them.
The No. 25 ranked tennis star added that she "doesn't consider it as blackface" and "had only good intentions." In the four erased photos, Yastremska had half of her body and face black.
"Earlier today I posted pictures that I thought would spread a message of equality," Yastremska tweeted. "It clearly did not and has been misunderstood. I have been warned about the negative impact but I did not -- and still don't -- consider it as blackface. I did not intend to caricature but to share my feelings about the current situation: we should all be treated as equal.
"I am so disappointed that my message has been corrupted: these pictures divided people when they were meant to unite. That's why I deleted them. I sincerely apologize to all the people I have offended. I truly had only good intentions."
Yastremska has a 31-20 career record and three WTA titles in her career. The Ukrainian reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2019.